This issue's "He-Man Mailbox" pages prove that last issue's "sketch pad" feature really works, as a Michigan boy sites the feature as the inspiration for his great (blue-eyed?) drawing of Castle Grayskull. A He-Man poem is included, as well as 2 "Character Creations": a nameless bulldog-faced warrior, equally adept with ray gun and sword, and a description of energy-bolt-firing Radon, the effort of two brothers from Indiana.
Feature Story: "The Darkest Day"
In this decorated text story, Skeletor has uncovered an ancient chest, containing the secret of the Falazz Warriors, lost for 20 generations! Opening the box, he unleashes Falazz Smoke, an endless choking black cloud that soon spreads to fill the skies throughout Eternia. Thinking He-Man helpless against this shroud of darkness, Skeletor uses Tri-Klops' x-ray vision to lead Webstor and him on a raid of Castle Grayskull. But He-Man uses ingenuity as his light, and contacts the Sorceress of Grayskull. Lead by her thoughts, He-Man, Sy-Klone, and Man-At-Arms journey through the blackness to Grayskull. As He-Man and Man-At-Arms grapple with Skeletor and his warriors, Sy-Klone begins spinning, drawing all the Falazz Cloud into his mighty whirlwind. Sy-Klone then forces the darkness into an energy sphere, projected by He-Man's Power Sword, but while He-Man is dealing with Tri-Klops, Skeletor sneaks up behind, and with a shove, forces He-Man into the sphere as well! How can He-Man escape the prison of his own making, without releasing the cloud of darkness as well? Seizing a subdued Webstor's grappling hook and line, Sy-Klone attaches the line to the energy sphere, and then heaves the whole mess into the abyss surrounding Grayskull! As Man-At-Arms gasps in terror, Skeletor shrieks in triumph. He could never have dreamed that his plot could have worked out so unexpectedly well. But then, who should come crawling back up Webstor's line but Eternia's champion, safe after all! Sy-Klone's quick thinking has paid off. He-Man is free, and the Cloud of Falazz can spread out to infinity within Grayskull's bottomless abyss, and still never trouble Eternia again. The sun shines again on Eternia, but Skeletor, his plot foiled, will never see the light.
Feature Story II: "The Fight for the Fright Zone"
I wasn't sure that such a thing existed, but here is a prime example: a Masters of the Universe story... without He-Man! Not a single heroic warrior appears in this unique comic story, as Skeletor, eager to expand his realm of conquest into Etheria, challenges his old mentor to a game of Flashball, a game of skill, taught to him by Hordak! To the victor goes the rule of the Fright Zone! Hordak is unable to resist the challenge, relishing the chance to defeat his old pupil on the field of the "Ancient Sport of Etheria". Flashball is a game "similar" to Earth Soccer, only with a game field studded with quicksand, rushing rivers, jagged crystals, ice goal cages at each end ringed with steel bars, and a deep chasm running across the center of the field. Players are cautioned not to let the Flashball, a large sphere of proton energy, fall into this pit as play begins. First team to score 2 goals, by placing the glowing Flashball in the goal cage (by any means possible) wins.
Center Forward: Hordak
Left Forward: Mantenna
Right Forward: Grizzlor
Left Guard: Leech
Right Guard: Modulok
Center Forward: Skeletor
Left Forward: Whiplash
Right Forward: Spikor
Left Guard: Kobra Khan
Right Guard: Clawful
Play begins with a "face-off" toss-up at the center crevice between team captains. The next page-and-a-half are scenes of gruesome carnage, as the rule of "no intentional roughness" is tossed out the window. Each team goes out of its way to brutalize the other, using their special abilities to inflict pain and mayhem. Skeletor scores the first goal, and Modulok soons ties the score, but by this time, most of both teams lay dazed and bruised, strewn in heaps across the field. Finally, the only players left standing are Skeletor and Hordak. Goaded by Skeletor, Hordak makes a despereate lunge, and goes sprawling to the edge of the midfield chasm. The ball tumbles into the abyss, and both teams must flee the field, as it disintegrates in a violent explosion! The story ends with Skeletor proclaiming that the game settled nothing. His challenge still stands. Skeletor wants a rematch!
Puzzles and Activities
Moss Man has captured a "forest phantom" lurking in the forest. By connecting the dots, the identity of Moss Man's prisoner is revealed. A treacherous labyrinth is the subject of the "Mekaneck Maze". Trapped in a Horde dungeon, Mekaneck must climb ladders, slide down chutes, and cross bridges to escape, while avoiding Leech and Modulok. "Who Goes There?" is a finish-the-picture feature. While rescuing a captured Fisto from the Fright Zone cell, Man-At-Arms and Teela are confronted by a mystery creature guarding the prisoner. With only the monster's eyes visible, You are invited to fill in the rest of the horrible details. Then, a "Mystery Message" rebus story tells of Fisto, takin' care of business when ambushed by Westor and Whiplash. The inside back cover is an ad for "Magic Window" home video releases. Alongside new tapes of "Beany and Cecil" and "Heathcliff's Cats & Co.," Volume 12 of "He-Man and The Masters of The Universe" ("Quest for the Sword"/"Orko's Favorite Uncle") is featured, packaged for a limited time only with a He-Man battery-operated toothbrush.
Poster #8 is an enlarged scene of the Issue's cover, He-Man battling the Fright Zone Beast Monster. Also seen in the full-sized poster are Sy-Klone and Moss Man further down the cliff, who were cropped out of the cover shot. Poster #9 is a giant "Escape to Eternia" board game! Beginning in the Fright Zone on Etheria, rolling a die and moving coin or button playing pieces takes you past the Chasm of Brimstone and the Desert of Oblivion, and through the Cranium Mountains, to a special "dimensional gate" space. If you are successful, your journey continues in Eternia (at Snake Mountain!), passing the Silent Springs and King Randor's Palace, through the Mystic Gardens, to your destination, Castle Grayskull! Masters of the Universe characters are on hand to help (or hinder) your progress on various spaces on the board, while landing on a Power Sword space allows you to roll again.
The fall he-man of the issue is Jason Van Beek of Chino, California, a wheelchair sports champion, with 3 national gold medals and several tennis trophies to his credit!